Nov. 26, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (2-1) opens the home portion of its schedule, returning to action after a 10-day layoff, hosting Ball State (0-4) on Tuesday, November 27 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network team of Tom McCarthy and Joe Lunardi will broadcast the game on WNTP (990 AM). Streaming audio will also be available on www.sjuhawks.com free of charge as provided by Stretch Internet. Fans will be able to watch the game on Hawks' All-Access, by subscribing to the All-Access package.
GAME NOTES The Hawks have not played since November 17, a 57-48 win at Boston University. Tonight is the home opener for Saint Joseph's, and it's the latest date for a home opener since 2003-04, when the Hawks hosted San Francisco on December 2. This is only the second meeting ever between Ball State and Saint Joseph's and the first since 2002. Ball State defeated SJU in the 2002 NIT Second Round.
LAST TIME OUT: Ahmad Nivins scored 18 points and matched his career high with 13 rebounds to lead SJU to a 57-48 victory over Boston University, the Hawks' third win over the Terriers in less than a year. Saint Joseph's won despite not scoring a field goal over the final 9:03 and shooting 3-for-20 from 3-point range. The Hawks, who trailed by as many as seven in the first half, took a 49-33 lead with 9:03 left and scored just eight free throws the rest of the way, but BU could get no closer than seven points. Darrin Govens scored 19 points for the Hawks, while Tasheed Carr added nine points, five assists and six of his team's 12 steals.
ON VACATION?: It only seems like it, but the Hawks have had a long break in between games, due to SJU's participation in the NIT Season Tip-Off. SJU had to leave Thanksgiving week open on its schedule in case the Hawks advanced to the semifinals in New York. The loss to Syracuse cancelled that trip and Saint Joseph's has not played since the November 17 win over Boston University. Phil Martelli even gave his team off from practice on Thanksgiving Day. But they'll get right back into action, playing four games in eight days in Philadelphia, starting with the home opener tonight. Then stretch is comprised of a highly-anticipated date with #19 Gonzaga on Thursday, a meeting with Penn State at the Palestra on Saturday and ends with a December 4 game with Holy Cross.
BACK ON TRACK: Ahmad Nivins put up the numbers people are used to seeing from him with 18 points and 13 rebounds at Boston University. That followed a disappointing outing at Syracuse where he had just three points and five rebounds.
GIVEAWAYS: The Hawks are on the plus side in their assist-to-turnover ratio, but it's mainly due to Tasheed Carr's team-high 26 assists. Phil Martelli hasn't been happy with the giveaways though, as SJU committed 15 against Syracuse and 16 in the win at Boston University. The squad is averaging 13.3 turnovers per game.
PAT'S POINTS: Pat Calathes started off the year with two 20-plus point efforts to lead the Hawks in scoring in both games. He now has eight career games in which he's scored 20 or more points.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Tasheed Carr tops the Atlantic 10 in assists with 8.67 per game, in steals with 3.67, and in assist-to-turnover ratio with 3.25. Ahmad Nivins leads the league in rebounding with his average of 9.0.
LONG-RANGE THREAT: Darrin Govens has established himself as the early long-range threat for the Hawks, hitting eight 3-pointers in the first two games. Govens made six against Syracuse and scored a career-high 22 points. He is now shooting 44 percent from behind the arc, having converted 38.3 percent last season.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks are in the midst of four games in eight days, with all of the games in Philadelphia. Next up is a highly anticipated game with #19 Gonzaga on Thursday, Nov. 29 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. SJU plays its first game of the year in the Palestra, taking on Penn State on Dec. 1, before returning back to the Fieldhouse to host Holy Cross on Dec. 4.